Lets face it, having only a handful of designs we sell potentially limits the imagination of what we offer. However, this is not the case! Why? Well, when you purchase our lamps you are purchasing straight from the manufacturer. No middle men involved.
Take for example, Sue from New York purchased two log based lamps with Evergreen designed shades. She then wanted something a little different than our standard designs, a Pine Cone design. Sue contacted us and we drafted her design and then created the perfect custom designed shade for her.
Its not easy to create a custom designed handcrafted lamp shade and many people wonder how we do it. So, we figured we would make this post to show you how we create the perfect shade for you!
Time needed: 3 hours.
Check out how we handcraft your custom designed lamp shade!
- Drafting Your Design
After contacting us and letting us know what you would like. We will send you a sketch of the lamp shade design to ensure it is exactly what you wanted.
- Lamp Shade Panels
Once we have your design, we can start building your handcrafted lamp shade. Using solid 12 gauge copper sheets we cut out the four sides of your shade. As you can see, we are not a cookie cutter shop, or produce in masses. We cut your shade by hand, using traditional tools, here tin snips.
- Drawing The Design
Hand drawing the design on the panel in preparation for plasma cutting.
- Plasma Cutting
After shaping all the panels, the next step is to cut out the design using a plasma cutter. We can assure you its not easy to cut copper, it took us years to perfect the art of plasma cutting detailed images into copper. Since copper is a softer metal, we have to use a low voltage plasma cutter.
Some shade designs have a night time setting. For these we drill small holes into the shade to resemble a starry night.
Using a metal break the corners of the panel are bent 90 degrees to connect the four panels and form the shade.
- Rolling The Edges
After bending the panels we roll the bottom edge using a ball peen hammer and steel dowel rod.
- Soldering The Panels
Using a hand torch and soldering wire we solder the four panels together to create your lamp shade.
- Handcrafting The Bridge
We handcraft the bridge of the shade. The bridge connects the lamp shade to the harp.
- Cleaning The Lamp Shade
Cleaning the shade with steel wool. This removes any burs or slag created from plasma cutting and smooths the edges from soldering.
- Applying Patina
Getting the right mixture for patina is an art. It has taken us years to perfect the mixture on patina for your lamp shade. Patina gives copper an aged look. If you want to learn more about how patina works please check out the copper patina guide.
- Applying Lacquer
We apply a thin coat of lacquer to preserve the patina on the shade. This image is another custom shade design request of a trout jumping from the river.
- Putting It All Together
After the lacquer dries, we can put everything together and create your perfect handcrafted custom designed lamp! This one was create for Sue from New York and is mounted on our cedar slab base. What are you waiting for, head on over to our shade shop.